Denman’s 15th annual Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair on May 5, 2018

THE Affair is such big news in Denman they close the streets - literally.

Loyalties are divided – is the best of the best actually from the Upper Hunter?

Drawing crowds of more than 7000 people from all over the state, who wander around tasting tantalising foods and delicious drinks, it seems the answer is a resounding “yes”.

The annual Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair (UHWFA) brings the idyllic little town alongside the Hunter River completely alive with music, activities for kids and plenty for adults to see and taste.

This year marks the UHWFA’s 15th anniversary and organiser, Troy Jones, said the committee tried to constantly evolve the UHWFA to keep it fresh each year.

“It is safe to say the event has gone from strength to strength,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s a fantastic showcase of what the Upper Hunter has to offer and I’m extremely proud to be a part of the organisational committee along with the Denman Business Chamber and Denman community.”

He said in his six years as event manager, it’s the most excited he has been about the upcoming event, with more exhibitors on board than ever before and live music all day.  

“The line-up of talent in Ogilvie Street on May 5 is mind-blowing, with 10 acts across four stages,” Mr Jones said.

The 2018 male and female vocalists of the year, Travis Collins and Amber Lawrence, will perform, plus the Viper Creek Band’s lead vocalist Damien Baguley, Mickey Pye, Baylou and the 2017 Toyota Starmaker winner Rachael Fahim alongside others.

Festival goers pay $15 upon entry and receive a tasting glass and tasting tokens, permitting them to sample a few of the wares of the liquid stallholders. 

“Our 2018 UHWFA will showcase more exquisite food, craft beer, local cider and of course, amazing Upper Hunter Valley Wines than ever before,” Mr Jones said. 

“The kids’ fun park is absolutely huge and there is an unlimited all day ride pass for $5 which means they can go on anything as many times as they like for the entire day.”

New food exhibitors this year include gourmet desserts from Pimp My Chimney, burgers from Southern Smoke, the Mudgee Fudge Co and smoked trout from Nundle’s Arc-en-Ciel to name a few. 

“Without the support of the local business community this event would not be possible.

“Glencore Mangoola Open Cut is our long-term major sponsor, BHP Billiton Mount Arthur Coal, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Bengalla Mining, Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Winemakers of the Upper Hunter play a very generous role in keeping this great event alive.

“I feel it’s important to recognise their generosity with all they do for the community.”